Javier calls me Una, though I’m not the first. There are leftovers all around his studio. Evidence of other, more perishable versions. Two white chocolate legs on a Grecian plinth in the corner, drained of their caramel filling. A banquet of fondant hands, some of which I’ve worn, amputated on trays next to the stove. Butter-dipped petals crumbled on plates, lips that have failed to hold a pucker. Butterscotch ears, taffy lashes, glacé cherry nipples. Nougat breasts, pre-used, fondled shapeless. Beside them, tools are scattered on wooden tables. Mixing bowls, whisks, chisels, flame-bottles. Needles, toothpicks, sickle probes, pliers. Pastry brushes hardening in dishes of glycerin. In alphabetical rows on the baker’s rack, there are macadamias, marshmallows, mignardises. Shards of rock candies, brown, yellow and green, that Javier uses to tint our irises. Gumdrop kidneys, red-hot livers, gelatin lungs. So many treats crammed into clear jars, ready to be pressed into cavities, tissue-wrapped and stuffed into limbs. Swallowed by throats that aren’t always mine.
“Delicious,” I say as Javier jams grenadine capsules into my sinuses, a surprise for clients with a taste for fizz. “Delicious.” The word bubbles, vowels thick and popping in all the wrong places. Gently frowning, Javier crushes my larynx with his thumbs. He fiddles with the broken musk-sticks, tweaking and poking, then binds the voice box anew with licorice cords. I try again.
For the rest, go here.
And for a bonus, go here for the lovely Thoraiya Dyer’s “The Wisdom of Ants”.